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A Derby horse? Diamantis, winning at Düsseldorf. www.galoppfoto.de - Stephanie Gruttmann


David Conolly-Smith


Ausgabe 662 vom Freitag, 02.04.2021

GaloppOnline published a very amusing spoof story today in honour of the date, but we shall try to keep serious as the flat season is now getting under way, with the huge Dubai World Cup Meeting last Saturday and group and listed races all over Europe this coming Easter weekend. This is not to say that the N.H. season is over – far from it. This weekend we have a big jumps meeting in Ireland (Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse on Easter Monday) and in France (Auteuil). The Aintree Grand National Meeting begins on Thursday of next week with the big trace itself on the Saturday and the last big N.H. meeting in Ireland is the Punchestown Festival at the end of the month. We are confident that there will be plenty of winners at these meetings sired by German stallions, especially the various sons of Monsun standing in Ireland, although all racing will of course be behind closed doors.

However flat racing from now on is at the centre of our attention, although of course some of these same sires also do well on the flat. In particular we are currently thinking of Maxios (Monsun), who has followed up his Triumph Hurdle success at Cheltenham a fortnight ago with the Fährhof-bred Quilixios with some excellent results worldwide on the flat. His son Mount Popa, Niarchos-bred like himself, won last week´s Mornington Cup in Victoria and is now qualified for the Group One Caulfield Cup. The only German runner last Saturday in Dubai was Walderbe (Maxios), an excellent runner-up in the Dubai Gold Cup over two miles. Closer to home Gestüt Ebbesloh´s Liberty Island (Maxios) was a game winner yesterday (Wednesday) on his debut at Strasbourg, a performance which certainly augurs well for the future.

The only racing Germany last weekend was at Düsseldorf on Sunday, a fixture which included three races for 3yo maidens, all with interesting winners. Potentially the most interesting was Diamantis (Golden Horn), who scored in good style for trainer Andres Suborics over 2200 metres, even though the trainer has stated beforehand that the colt would need the race. He certainly looked fit enough and with any improvement can clearly play a role in better class events. Diamantis, bred by Gestüt Brümmerhof and a 49,000 euros yearling, is a half-brother to Diamanta (Maxios), winner of the Group One Preis der Diana over this CD; he did not get a clear run in the straight and had to be switched twice, so this effort is probably even better than it looked by the bare result. Golden Horse has not yet set the world alight with his products, but as a well-bred Derby and Arc winner looks sure to make his mark as a sire before long. Diamantis is entered in the German Derby, but may possible run in France next time. Runner-up Loft (Adlerflug) should also be noted as a certain future winner and this was almost certainly a strong maiden.

The fillies´ maiden over a mile went to Gestüt Röttgen´s homebred Diadora (Dansili),who went clear in the final furlong to score by four lengths from Nottingham (Excelebration), who had been listed-placed as a juvenile. This was another decent performance and the winner could now be aimed at the German 1,000 Guineas according to trainer Markus Klug. She is from one of Röttgen´s most successful families and is a half-sister to the useful miler Degas. The dam Diatribe (Tertulliasn) won three listed races at distances up to seven furlongs.

The third 3yo race, also over a mile, was dominated by trainer Henk Grewe, whose two runners fought out the finish, with Juanito (Zoffany) just getting the better of stable companion Kir Royal  (Lord of England) to win by a neck. Juanito cost 100,000 euros as a yearling (BBAG September) and looks worth every penny; last year he was beaten just a nose in the Zukunfts-Rennen at Baden-Baden and also ran well when fourth in the Preis des Winterfavorigten. Grewe was obviously happy with the result and stated that both his runners could run nexr in the Dr. Busch-Memorial, a major trial for the German 2,000 Guineas, and that latter race is the main target for Juanito who looks unlikely to stay much beyond a mile; his half-brother Julio (Exceed and Excel) was a group race winner over 1200 metres.

There are more three-year-old maidens at Hoppegarten and Cologne this weekend with several classic entries likely to run, so we shall know more about the classic crop in a week´s time. Of more immediate interest are the three listed races, all for older horses and the first black type events of the season in Germany. Hoppegarten´s mile race for fillies and mares has attracted a good field, including the runners-up in the last two editions of the German 1,000 Guineas; No Limit Credit  (Night of Thunder) last year for Andreas Suborics and Axana  (Soldier Hollow) for Andreas Wöhler in 2019.  We give slight preference to Axana, who was below par last season but looked very promising at three, but it should be an interesting race.

Hoppegarten also stages a listed race over 2800 metres, a trial for the Group Two Oleander-Rennen here next month, Germany´s top race for stayers. Henk Grewe saddles Ida Alata (Adflerflug), who is extremely well treated by the race conditions and has an obvious chance under Germany´s best lightweight jockey Sibylle Vogt. Suborics is represented by Rip Van Lips (Rip Van Winkle), runner-up in last year´s Oleander-Rennen, but he has to concede 8 kilos to the filly, which looks next to impossible.

Main feature on Monday at Cologne is the listed Grand Prix Aufgalopp and Henk Grewe saddles three of the six runners, including the smart Wonderful Moon (Sea The Moon), whose connections are hoping to run him at Royal Ascot this season. If so, he has to win here, but this is no easy task under top weight, and Peter Schiergen´s Nerium (Camelot) looks a big danger at the weights. Both these meetings look highly interesting, although the races are probably better watched than bet on, but they are certainly worth watching with an eye for the big events still to come.

David Conolly-Smith

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